Operation Crossbow located the factories and the launch site areas and they were subsequently destroyed by allied bombers. The counter offensive by the Soviet forces continued and they held Stalingrad for five months, one week, and three days. It was longest battle of World War Two but it was the turning point of the war against the German Wehrmacht in Europe. Hitler had been defeated and the Russian troops then marched on. There were still frequent dog fights in the skies over Britain and many prisoners were taken and used to work on the farms. The distinctive red diamonds on the backs of their coats singled them out from the rest.
When December of 1942 arrived; the snow covered the majority of the land. It was unfit to work on so the Land Army girls were moved further south. Miriam stayed on at Wildacre Farm to help Thomas and Janice who was nearing her time. The American troops also went and the countryside returned to some kind of normality again.
Thomas and Miriam announced their engagement on Christmas Eve and they had a little engagement party at home.
“So when’s the big day then Thomas asked his mother;
We are saving up mam so hopefully next year.”
I will have to buy a new hat then see laughed; you’ve got plenty hats Cora why do you need to buy a new one.
“Listen to your father still trying to save money. William it’s my sons wedding I need to look my best.
“You always look good to me love; he smiled.
“Go on with you William Hogg; you always were a smooth talker.
Well I hope you aren’t going to keep us waiting as long for a grand child mind. Neither of us are getting any younger you know and I want to enjoy seeing them grow up.
“Let’s get the wedding out of the way first mam.”
“Where are you going to hold the reception; this place is too small; unless we make a long table then we could set it outside.
“That will be fine mam as long as it doesn’t rain I don’t want to be eating soggy pies and sandwiches.”
“Who’s coming to your stag do then son?
“I’m not bothering with one dad; there was only George and he’s not invited.”
“You will need a best man.”
“I’ve asked Gerry Leteve the blacksmith and he said that he would consider it an honour.”
“Why don’t the three of us go down to the club and have a few beers on your stag. You cannot waste your last day as a single man by stopping in the house; I will not hear the like of it plus my reputation as a farmer is at stake here. William pushed his thumbs through his braces then pulled then outwardly as he stood over the coal fire.